PH’s COVID-19 tally breaches 800,000 with 8,355 new cases

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Metro Manila (CNN Philippines, April 5) -- New COVID-19 cases in the country reached 8,355 on Monday, bringing the total past the 800,000 mark, as the capital region and nearby high-risk areas enter their second week under the strictest lockdown.

The Department of Health's bulletin showed a total of 803,398 people in the country have contracted the dreaded virus since the start of the outbreak. 

The latest daily count is relatively lower compared to previous days when new infections breached 10,000. The Department of Health explained this is due to reduced laboratory operations during the Holy Week.

The DOH earlier warned the country may see an "artificial" decline in new cases in the next few days as dozens of testing laboratories halted operations over the holidays, including 71 laboratories on Sunday out of 239 licensed labs.

In addition, of the operational facilities on Sunday, the department said three failed to submit their reports on time.

Of the total infected, 143,726 or 17.9% are active cases. Majority, or 97.5%, of these currently ill patients exhibit mild symptoms, the DOH said. Meanwhile, 1.1% have no symptoms, 0.5% are critical cases, 0.6% are severe, and 0.34% are moderate.

Recoveries also climbed by 145 to 646,237, while the death toll now stands at 13,435 with 10 more added. The DOH said four of the newly reported fatalities were earlier reported as recoveries.

After final validation, the department removed eight duplicates from the total case count, including four survivors.

The DOH also posted a daily positivity rate of 21% as of noon of April 4. This means at least one in five individuals tested on the same day was found positive for the coronavirus.

With new infections remaining high, Metro Manila, Bulacan, Cavite, Laguna, and Rizal will remain under the most stringent community quarantine status for at least one more week, or until April 11.

According to the independent OCTA Research group, the past week of hard lockdown imposed over the Greater Manila area brought slight improvements in the COVID-19 situation,

The Health Department, however, said it is too early to arrive at such a conclusion. It admitted the spread has not slowed down yet, and the country may only assess the effect of the tighter restrictions two weeks after the lockdown period ends, which would mean around end of April.

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OCTA projected the Philippines may still record some 11,000 to 12,000 cases daily for the next week or so. Based on current figures, it also estimated the nationwide tally may strike one million before the end of the month.

Meanwhile, among Filipinos abroad, the Department of Foreign Affairs confirmed 17 new cases, which brought the cumulative count to 16,423. It listed no new recoveries or deaths, with the tallies remaining at 10,060 and 1,049, respectively.